On April 21 we are cycling across the United States in 9 Days to Reach thousands of Ethiopians!

On April 21 we are cycling across the United States in 9 Days to Reach thousands of Ethiopians!

In 2002, part of our team took our first trip to Africa, where we saw the horrifying effects of unsafe water on societies, families, and individuals. That experience was a catalyst for a journey that has included cycling thousands of miles to try to help thousands of Africans get safe water, sanitation, and hygiene training.

Since 2014, Wheels4Water has imagined and executed new ways in which anyone can make a tangible difference in the fight against the global water crisis using only bicycles, a passionate community, storytelling, and heart for doing good. Following the incredible success of the 2014 – 2017 rides in which communities across the United States joined Wheels4Water fundraising efforts to raise over $230,000, the vision of 2018 will be set on new heights.

On April 21 of 2018, the Wheels4Water team will make our biggest advancement to fight the global water crisis yet. We will ride over 2,700 miles, from San Diego, CA to Charleston, South Caroloina, with a goal of raising $250,000 to transform the lives of a community in the Bensa District of Ethiopia. If we reach the $250,000 mark, Wheels4Water’s efforts since 2014 will have given safe water access to over 16,250 people in Ethiopia, Uganda and the DROC. But this can not happen, without your help!

 

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About the Region – Bensa, Ethiopia

The Bensa District is located in the southern region of Ethiopia with a population of approximately 250,000 people. This region has some of the highest water scarcity and water-borne disease rates in the world.

Ethiopia is regularly listed as one of the poorest countries in the world. One third Ethiopians live in extreme poverty, on less than $1.90 per day. Health is also a significant challenge, with life expectancy 15 years lower than the western world. The water and sanitation situation is similarly dire, with approximately half of the rural population lacking access to safe water and two thirds lacking improved sanitation. A Lifewater survey of the region found that the average household uses less than half of the minimum water consumption needs estimated by the World Health Organization. In Bensa, Lifewater has found that women spend an average of 2-5 hours each day fetching water, which is often making them and their children sick.

The Region at a Glance

We can change the reality of a community in Bensa, Ethiopia. Despite great strides in economic and social development in recent decades, Ethiopia continues to struggle to provide safe water and sanitation to it’s most vulnerable citizens

  • 65%

    Lack Access to Clean Water

  • 40%

    Live Without Proper Sanitation Facilities

  • 70%

    Of Schools Lack Access to Proper Water & Sanitation

Mike Fredericks

Corporate Color Printing

Mike is the founder and CEO of Corporate Color Printing in Orange County, CA which he founded at the ripe young age of 20. His true accomplishments however don’t lie in the fact that he has ran a successful company for more than 20 years but rather in the man, husband and father he has become. After having three biological children Mike and his wife Jamie felt compelled to adopt 3 year old twins from Ethiopia in the summer of 2016 after a two year waiting process. Although adoption has been one of the hardest things Mike and his wife have ever decided to undertake, it has also been the most rewarding. Mike’s journey really began to change after traveling to Ethiopia and adopting his twins and seeing first hand the need for safe water and sanitation in rural Ethiopia. This ride is an extension of his servant heart and his desire to see lives changed through generosity. Not only those in Ethiopia, but also those who choose to partner with us and play apart in helping solve the water crisis in Ethiopia.

Sean Ward

CBRE

Sean is a Senior Vice President of CBRE where he has spent the last 14 years advising companies on their global real estate strategy. When not creating real estate solutions for his clients Sean spends his time with his wife Jessica chasing around their kids, Jack (7), Brenley (4) and Holden (2). As a core component of Sean’s faith Sean believes it is his mission to “make wrong things right”. He feels called to make a difference in the world, particularly when it comes to issues affecting children (safe water, human trafficking, foster care / adoption, etc). Sean sees the global water crisis simply as a math problem and a matter of the will. If people with resources and knowledge will share their resources and knowledge with the developing world we can take a huge step towards eliminating cycles of poverty, early death and preventable diseases. Though not an endurance athlete or a cyclist Sean is excited to take this journey with the Wheels4Water team to help raise money and awareness for Lifewater International in the great work they are doing.

Nate Bailey

Manwealth & Shield Maiden

Nate is a successful trainer and coach with Manwealth & Shield Maiden. He is on a path to continually push himself in all areas of life. A few physical accomplishments of Nate’s include Ironman AZ in 2008 and finishing one of the worlds toughest mental and physical challenges in Sealfit Kokoro 45 in 2016, a 52 hour crucible, modeled after Navy Seal Hell Week. Nate has always had a serving heart, to include serving our country on deployment for 15 months in Kuwait with the US Army as a 1st Lt. The thought of biking across the US to raise a significant amount of money with other like minded men is very exciting, and scary at the same time. The lives that will be impacted through a great organization like Lifewater make it all worthwhile.

Phil Belonger

Phil is a real estate investor and broker in Denver, CO. He is the father of 3 beautiful children Ashlie (16) Lian (6) and Alan (4). He is constantly looking to learn from his mistakes and to continually become a better husband, father, friend, and businessman. He has found it to be very rewarding to take part in a collective group target that’s sole purpose is to give the less fortunate an opportunity a chance at a better life. Phil was fortunate enough to have recently taken part in building a home for a family in Mexico through an organization called 1Mission.  He felt so much satisfaction with being able to give back that when he was invited to take part in the effort of fundraising and riding across the country for Life Water he jumped on the opportunity. We can ask, “what is the meaning of life?” or we can choose to show the world what we believe it to be with our actions.

Rhett Laufenburger

Fairway Independent Mortgage

I always look for opportunities that I can serve at a greater cause. When asked by a dear friend if I will support his project and ride across America to bring awareness to Ethiopia’s lack of clean water and facilities for basic restrooms I was in from the get go. After seeing an impact on a water tower, education, and  the sustainability of a village in Cambodia I found the need to serve this awesome cause. I am a son of Jesus, Husband of 11 years, and a father of 3. I run a successful mortgage team in Glendale, AZ and most recently completed my first full Ironman. Choosing to serve on many levels is a deep passion of mine.  I believe the greatest reward of serving is the individual stories along the way.

Chris Orza

After 9/11, Chris joined the NYPD in order to help protect the people of New York. After a decorated career in the police department, Chris suffered career ending injuries after being hit by a car. In 2014, Chris and his wife Kate moved their family to Charleston, South Carolina, where they are now successful publishers for two exclusive magazines serving thousands of residents every month. With 5 kids in tow, Chris and Kate keep very busy and love the quality time they have with their children. Since moving to Charleston, Chris became surrounded by people involved in water missions on some level. After researching the epidemic, Chris was moved to help save lives by volunteering with Lifewater. “ It’s heartbreaking to know that thousands of people die because they don’t have access to something most of us take for granted every day. I love the fact that we can actually DO something about it to help save lives.”

Scott Hohensinner

Scott Hohensinner is honored to join this dedicated group of men, and humbled to support this critical mission. He joined Wheels4Water after learning from his fellow riders about the urgent need for clean water and sanitation in Bensa, Ethiopia. Their guidance and inspiration motivated him to take on this challenge. He’s grateful to be involved with a project that will directly and tangibly improve the lives and health of thousands of children by providing them with resources most of us take for granted. At this stage in Scott’s life, he feels a deeper sense of purpose and responsibility to pay forward the blessings he’s experienced in his life. Scott lives in Gig Harbor, WA, and has a daughter, Dani, who is a cardiothoracic charge nurse at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. He’s also the owner and president of Summit Packaging, Inc., which he founded in 1998. The company provides packaging materials, equipment, and technical service to industrial manufacturers, agricultural, and food processing companies across the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, and Western Canada. He is excited to be a member of the Wheels4Water and Lifewater team in helping spread awareness about the need for clean water in many parts of the world.

Justin Ahrens & Brian Macdonald

Co-Founders Wheels4Water

Justin and Brian are the co-founders of Wheels4Water and owners of their own companies as well. Justin runs Rule29 a strategic branding agency and Brian runs Wonderkind Studios a film, motion, still photography and video production company. They wanted to use their combined talents to help tell the story of the world water crisis and their love for cycling to help be a catalyst for fundraising. This year they are the rooting the team on from the sidelines as they hope the W4W adventure can keep going and help Lifewater make life-changing impact.